I've had visitors from Connecticut....and things have been really busy. Today, I worked a bit in the garden, trying to get some things done before the weather turns too cold.
Some things are pretty surprising. Here is a new favorite, Echinacea (coneflower) "Raspberry Truffle." I bought this in Connecticut this spring on the advise of grower Bruce McCue. McCue suggested this one as he feels that the "Big Sky" series is highly over rated and doesn't have the staying power. I have to agree, my experience with the "off color" echinaceas from the Big Sky series have been short lived. Bruce says that the seeds are treated and therefore the plants don't usually have vigor over more than a few years. This one, he assures me, is different.
At this point, I don't care if it is short lived or not, it is a spectacular plant!
Another spectacular plant, and a native like the echinacea, is this Itea, this particular one is "Little Henry." A lot of people want the fall color like this, and plant burning bush (Euonymous) which is a non-native and is very, very invaisive. Little Henry is well behaved and grows in a lot of different areas....and I think that the wonderful fall color is every bit as beautiful, if not more so, than "burning bush."
It has been a horribly dry fall, and I've lost a lot of plant material. I lost a Franklinia tree while I was in Montana.....it appears that husband's aren't too good at keeping things watered. I'm hoping that the Stewartia which is leafless now is going to make it. See the red splash of color? It is another really strong performer.
Here is it up close. Persicaria amplexicaulis "Firetail" , also known as Firetail Fleece flower. It likes to have it a bit moist, but I don't find it overly thirsty. Unlike a lot of the Persicaria family, this one is well behaved. It doesn't take over the world like "Lance Corporal" and some of the others. I've had this one here for 5 years and I brought it down as a start from Connecticut.
The only drawback is has is that Japanese beetles love it. However, I've discovered a way around this. I cut it back when they have skeletonized the leaves and made it rather...icky looking. I'm ruthless with it, and yet, by the late fall, it has thrown new leaves and these gorgeous pink flowers. The leaves also turn russet and are really cool this time of year. Since the Japanese beetles have long since gone, this second flush actually looks good.
This is taking the long view....the large green plant just to the right of the center ground is a pink "knock-out" rose....I planted it to be a light pink point contrasting with the purple leaved plum behind it...it was supposed to be no more than 3 feet....it is a little more. I am still trying to figure out whether I like it there or not as pale pink in the fall looks a little strange! It's far prettier in the spring, but since it blooms from June on, I guess I can't complain!